Last month, a measure that would allow Gov. Sonny Perdue and a hand-picked committee to take a stab at rewriting the state tax code was introduced.
There were clues – the attempted inclusion of former governor and U.S. senator Zell Miller on the panel, for instance – that a restoration of the sales tax on food was being targeted.
HB 1405 received final passage on Tuesday.
Walter Jones of Morris News Service was there when, two days later, another shoe dropped off the centipede:
An economist who’ll serve on the state’s special tax-reform panel said Thursday that ending the tax on groceries contributed to the violent swings in tax collections that have triggered dramatic cuts in the budget.
“The consequence of that is we took out of our tax base one of the most stable components of our sales-tax collections,” said Roger Tutterow, an economics professor at Mercer University in Atlanta..
The General Assembly just passed next year’s budget Wednesday which included cuts and increases in fees and a new tax on hospitals.
When policymakers meet again in January, slow economic growth will likely lead them to consider more tax increases, Tutterow told a luncheon meeting of the Mercer Executive Forum. If they do, he recommended the tax be spread broadly so the burden will be evenly distributed and people will be less prone to change their behavior to avoid the new tax.
This comes today from Jim Walls with Atlanta Unfiltered:
A middle Georgia judge retaliated against two witnesses who testified in January about his courtroom conduct, state investigators say. Those actions may cost Twiggs Probate Judge Kenneth Fowler his paycheck.
The state Judicial Qualifications Commission today will ask that Fowler be suspended from office immediately without pay. A hearing begins this morning in Macon before attorney H. Jerome Strickland, a special master appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court.
If you’re a Republican, you have to be hoping that Michael Steele is on the right side of this one. From the Washington Post:
The executive board of the Republican National Committee moved quietly this week to order an independent review of the organization’s spending practices, a move that reflects internal concerns about cost controls and oversight of the $121 million in tax-exempt receipts the committee collected this election cycle.
The move came after Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady, a former federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s fraud section, helped conduct a confidential review of party spending at the request of national Chairman Michael S. Steele. Brady’s review concluded that while the party’s internal controls are good, its policies for approving expenditures warrant a deeper look, RNC officials said.
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